Help! All the pears ripened at once! We have about seventy-five perfectly ripe, delicious pears! My dehydrator is full of pear slices, my oven is full of pear slices (at 170 degrees, it works just like a dehydrator), I made pear-ginger loaf for dessert tonight, and we are all sick to death of eating them out of hand. I'm trying to push some of them into the trade network, but it has to happen FAST. A pear goes from perfect to past-perfect in no time flat.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Well, that took all of three minutes.
Early this past spring, I hired a guy to come out and see what he could do with the lovely antique pear tree that shades the garage. Last summer, it had produced only about a dozen little, gnarled pears, and I wondered if it might be made to do better. The man said it was in fine shape, and ought to bear many more pears after a good pruning. Then he basically shaved the poor tree and left it bare naked. I thought he'd killed it, but he was right.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Some people have suggested - people in my own family! - that I might have a little bit of a problem. An animal addiction. I'm a junky, it's been suggested, scrutinizing craigslist long into the night, neglecting my children, letting dinner burn on the stove while I hunt frantically for more goats, more alpacas, more chickens, more more more!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The rain began this morning. It was time; it was past time. My fruit trees needed water (I have yet to work out a good watering system for the orchard. The hose doesn't reach and we have to water with buckets, which means we don't water often enough.). We haven't had measurable rain at all in September. Rain is inevitable; you have to make your peace with it or move away. But I'm just not ready this year. Spring was so long, so wet, and so cold. It was so dark and damp. I feel like there was barely enough summer to dry out, not enough warmth and light to sustain us through a long winter. I want an Indian Summer. Please, is anybody listening?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Posted by Aimee at 9:44 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Then I discovered that we had a fair amount of fence repair to do. There is a section of fence that runs alongside a wall of blackberries, and the goats have been mashing it down to get at them. I suspect Xana: she's the worst fence jumper. Plus I hate her. We had to drive six new stakes and try to pull the mashed fence back up and affix it to the stakes. Hard work in the heat of the afternoon. But we recuperated after a cold beer and spent the evening paying with the animals.
Homero let the pig out for the first time. When he picked it up to put it over the fence, it screamed like you would not believe! Oddly, the alpacas hated the very sight of the pig, or seemed to, and chased him around the barnyard aggressively, kicking and making weird alpaca noises. I don't know if they just never noticed him before behind his fence, or if they thought he was an intruder or what, but we had to put him back in his pen or he would have got his little pink ass kicked.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Buddy is a purebred Boer, which is a meat goat. I have only two goats to breed this year: Xana, my big mean ugly LaMancha, and Flopsy, the girl-twin out of Iris, a purebred Nubian from excellent lines. Flopsy won't be ready to breed until December (she's too young, still) but Xana is ready now.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Everyone wants to use the cider press! I have appointments lined up all week. Today a family with four kids is coming over, and the dad says he has two 55 gallon drums full of apples. A guy came over last week with a whole bunch of windfalls which he pressed to make ethanol for his Prius. (Don't worry, I carefully disinfected the press afterwards.) And I have about 150 pounds of apples in the shed, still.
Friday, September 12, 2008
With the beautiful sunny weather of the last week and a half, all the tomatoes that I thought were going to rot on the vine have been ripening. This is only one day's harvest; there are many more out there now waiting to be gathered. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them. I'm tired of canning (and out of canning jars) so maybe I'll make various types of tomato sauce and freeze them in gallon ziploc freezer bags.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I'm typing this with one hand, because the other is totally broken. Well, probably not really, but it feels like it. Coming out of the small barn this evening with a container full of food for the pig, a goat (didn't see which one) jumped up on the door and slammed it on my thumb. Tore all the skin off the top and it instantly swelled to twice normal size. I howled like a banshee.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Last week, I climbed into the hayloft with a roll of bird netting and a staple gun, with the intention of saving our hay from marauding chickens, who like to fly up there - the ones that can fly - and lay their eggs. Seemed like a simple enough project, but I guess I put a staple in my hand for nothing, because today I found black mama up there sitting on a clutch of eggs. Since I have no way of knowing how long she has been sitting on them, and since I have no wish to break open eggs with bloody half-formed chicks in them, I'm just gonna have to let her hatch them out. This will be the fourth clutch this year, but each of the previous clutches averaged only two chicks each, so I guess we have room for a couple more.
Posted by Aimee at 9:57 AM
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
One of the larger projects on the list of Things That Need To Happen is cross-fencing. Currently, I have only one paddock; a two acre enclosure in which everybody lives: chickens, goats, and alpacas. It's big enough for everyone, but without separate enclosures, I can't separate kids from mama goats, to get more milk. I can't keep a buck. And most importantly, I can't rotate pastures. My big field produces plenty of roughage for the animals I keep on it, but it would eventually get tired. And unless I have somewhere else to put the animals for a month or so, I can't plant grass and try to improve the pasture. So yesterday I went and bought enough material to make two new enclosures, one about 100' x 150', and the other about 50' x 100'. The price of fencing materials has nearly doubled since last fall. I don't eve want to write what I spent, in case my husband reads this blog and finds out! Oh well, at least labor is free.
Happy Goats in the New Pasture